Animal Wellness Magazine says “many experts donâ€™t feel that melamine is responsible for the acute renal failure animals experienced after eating the recalled foods.” The full article is here.
Highlights after the jump.
â€œNeither melamine nor aminopterin are likely to be the real cause of the illness â€“ the symptoms of toxicity donâ€™t match either one,â€ says Dr. Hofve. â€œToxicology data on melamine suggests that it can cause kidney stones and other chronic effects, but acute renal failure does not really accord with that. Some are calling melamine a â€˜markerâ€™ for something else that hasnâ€™t yet been determined.â€ Theories abound as to how melamine got into the wheat gluten. Federal Drug Administration veterinarian Stephen Sundlof told CNN that it could have been added as a â€œcheap fillerâ€. But according to Michael W. Fox, B. Vet. Med, Ph.D., D.Sc., M.R.C.V.S, melamine is â€œnot cheapâ€ and costs about 50% more than wheat gluten. â€œI believe the China contaminant is the tip of the iceberg, and could become the scapegoat,â€ says Dr. Fox. In fact, he speculates that the Chinese wheat was genetically engineered or modified (GMO), and this is the source of the problem.
â€œIt most probably was,â€ he states, â€œsince it was not imported for human consumption, and was possibly an experimental crop with anti-fungus blight and viral disease genetic insertions that could have gone haywire as a result of â€˜overexpressionâ€™. Melamine, the parent chemical for a potent insecticide cyromazine, could possibly have been manufactured within the wheat plants themselves as a genetically engineered pesticide.â€ Alternatively, the culprit could be glyphosate, says Dr. Fox, an herbicide that is absorbed by crops that are genetically engineered so that they escape harm while the weeds in the field around them die.
To date, the FDA has not stated whether or not the wheat is GMO. Mark Ullman, legal counsel for ChemNutra, the company that imported the wheat gluten told Animal Wellness that the wheat gluten â€œwas not supposed to be [genetically modified] but that ChemNutra did not specify non-GMO on its orderâ€ so in fact it may well have received a genetically engineered product. Thus far, GMO wheat has been frowned upon for human consumption in North America, but the FDA does not regulate its presence in pet food or animal feed. Furthermore, as with human products, genetically engineered foods do not have to declare their â€œalteredâ€ status on North American labels.